Clinical Observation of Pre-Menstrual Cupping in 30 Women with Dysmenorrhea

SUMMARY: In this study, 30 patients diagnosed with dysmenorrhea were included in this study. The age of subjects ranged between 18-40 years of age. 20 subjects were single, 10 subjects were married, and the disease history ranged from 6 months to 6 years. All subjects met the diagnostic criteria of dysmenorrhea according to the Criteria of Diagnosis and Therapeutic Effect of Internal Diseases and Syndromes in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The inclusion criteria were: ① lower abdomen pain during menstrual period or before or after menstruation, or periodic lumbosacral pain, or even fainting. ② Commonly occur in unmarried young women. ③ Excluded abdominal pain caused by organic pelvic disease.  In this study, all subjects received cupping therapy 7 days before the menstrual period, once every other day for a total of 3 times before the period. The cupping therapy was performed along the Urinary Bladder meridian and Du meridian on the back. The strength and the speed of the cupping were to the patient’s tolerance, and the treatment duration was based on the skin color change from the cupping therapy. All subjects received treatment for three consecutive menstrual cycles before reassessment. A subject was considered as:

  1. Cured: if dysmenorrhea resolved and no recurrence for 3 or more consecutive menstrual cycles.
  2. Improved: if pain reduced or resolved, but effect lasts less than 3 consecutive menstrual cycles.
  3. Non-responsive: No improvement in pain.

According to the result, 24 subjects (80%) were cured and 6 subjects (20%) improved. There was no non-responsive case and the total effective rate was 100%.  No adverse reaction was observed in any subject during the study. According to the theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Du meridian, along with Ren and Chong meridian, begin from the uterus (Bao) and forms “the small heavenly circulation” with Ren meridian to connect the body’s Yin and Yang. On the other hands, all of the back Shu points run along on the Urinary Bladder meridian, and can therefore treat diseases from the internal organs. As a result, cupping therapy on Urinary Bladder and Du meridian can smooth the movement of Qi and Blood, resolve stagnation, regulate internal organ function, and improve dysmenorrhea caused by stagnation.

Qiaoming Dai and Shu Zhao. Clinical Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2012. 4 (14): 47-48.